1953 Topps Willie Mays Original Artwork Sells for Almost $250,000

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The original painting used to make the 1953 Topps Willie Mays baseball card fetched nearly $250,000 in Lelands’ Summer Classic 2022 auction.

Image: Lelands

Including the buyer’s premium, the final price was $246,968.40. It last sold in 1989 at Topps’ archive auction, where it went for $88,000.

According to the item’s description, the buyers then were the Marriott Corporation. A couple of years later, they donated it to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They in turn consigned it through Lelands with all proceeds going to the non-profit.

A copy of a 1953 Topps Willie Mays baseball card was also included with the sale.

The painting itself isn’t much bigger than the final baseball card, measuring 3 inches by 5 inches. It shows typical production wear as well.

Topps used several artists to create the 274-card 1953 Topps Baseball set. Many started with photos before adding elements to help them stand out further.

For Mays, 1953 is his third-year card. It’s also part of Topps’ second flagship release. A high-number short print, Mays is considered to be the second most valuable card in the set, second only to Mickey Mantle.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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